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2nd Space Operations Squadron strikes at Global Lightning

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — U.S. Navy Adm. Charles Richard, U.S. Strategic Command commander, speaks to his key staff on the USSTRATCOM’s command and control facility battle deck during Exercise Global Lightning 20 at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 30, 2020. Global Lightning is an annual command and control exercise that employs global operations in coordination with other combatant commands, services, U.S. government agencies and allies to deter, detect and, if necessary, defeat strategic attacks against the United States and its allies. This is the first major exercise USSTRATCOM conducted entirely from the C2F, the command’s newest weapon system that enables it to connect to national leadership, all three legs of the triad, and other platforms key to executing operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ian Hoachlander)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — U.S. Navy Adm. Charles Richard, U.S. Strategic Command commander, speaks to his key staff on the USSTRATCOM’s command and control facility battle deck during Exercise Global Lightning 20 at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Jan. 30, 2020. Global Lightning is an annual command and control exercise that employs global operations in coordination with other combatant commands, services, U.S. government agencies and allies to deter, detect and, if necessary, defeat strategic attacks against the United States and its allies. This is the first major exercise USSTRATCOM conducted entirely from the C2F, the command’s newest weapon system that enables it to connect to national leadership, all three legs of the triad, and other platforms key to executing operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ian Hoachlander)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – First Lt. Carl Humphrey, 2nd Space Operations Squadron satellite vehicle operator, and 1st Lt. Tyler Liermann, 2nd SOPS weapons and tactics assistant flight commander, participated in Global Lightning 20, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Jan. 21 to 30.

“We focused on delivering space capabilities to Global Lightning and U.S. Strategic Command overall, but it was also about working together with different combatant commands around the world,” Humphrey said. “There were a lot of agencies and branches gearing up together and trying to be cohesive in how we prepared for potential threats.”

According to U.S. Strategic Command, Global Lightning 20 is a Global-Integrated Exercise, linked to the Joint Staff and five other combatant command exercises.

Although Humphrey and Liermann’s role in the exercise was no different than their daily duties at Schriever, serving as the position, navigation and timing experts for the teams involved, their participation in the exercise also provided an opportunity for them to have face-to-face interaction with some of their end-users and see how they can provide better service.

“A lot of what we were doing during the exercise was expressing what our capabilities are and how we can enhance them and help them [our customer] plan around what the adversary might be doing,” Humphrey said.

The 2nd SOPS and other wing units and mission partners participated in the exercise including 4th SOPS and 50th Network Operations Group along with sister service and coalition partners.

“It was interesting to be able to work with the Canadians, British and Australian coalition players,” Liermann said. “Just seeing how all the different coalitions joined forces with personnel from space units in the Army, Navy and Marines and others all a part of this GIE was a good experience.”

The purpose of a GIE is to test how the Department of Defense executes operations in multiple locations and domains (i.e. air, land, sea, space, and cyber) simultaneously according to U.S. Strategic Command.

“We're all moving toward the same goal in working together,” Liermann said. “There were personnel participating in Keen Edge, an exercise which is conducted in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, actually trying to see how they would fight in the scenario.”

Leirmann said he felt the exercise was beneficial for 2nd SOPS, Team Schriever and its mission partners to participate in the exercise to bring back how the entire enterprise functions together.

“Making sure the needs of our GPS users are met and ensuring the 2nd SOPS perspective is properly communicated to the personnel writing plans and different orders associated with the plans is important,” Liermann said. “Hopefully they [the users] will be able to use some of the expertise we brought to them to help in the future.”

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